What Does Michael Vick’s Signing Mean for Geno Smith?
By Dan Lagnado
By now you all probably have heard Mark Sanchez is out and Michael Vick is in for the New York Jets. Vick signed a one year $5 million deal Friday. This offseason Vick made it very clear that he wants to be a starting quarterback. This creates a bit of a situation in Jets camp. The coaches have consistently expressed confidence in Geno Smith going forward and everyone expects him to make improvements following his roller coaster rookie season. Do not expect another quarterback by committee, as was the case when Tim Tebow joined the team. There will likely be one starter and one backup, barring injury to either competitor.
So what is likely to be the outcome? This was not the same as the Jets signing a veteran to mentor Smith. This is pure quarterback competition.
This preseason, just as last season, will be very interesting to see who performs the best and who wins the starting job. For right now I have to think Vick has the advantage. He’s a veteran and a proven playmaker with all of camp to get familiar with his teammates. Additionally Vick will be reunited with former offensive coordinator Marty Morninhweg who had success with Vick in Philly a few years ago. There are also rumors floating around that the Jets have been in discussions with the Eagles about Desean Jackson, who would provide familiarity for Vick and a speedy deep threat that the Jets have been sorely lacking.
However, this could also be good for Smith. It’s not exactly a vote of confidence but it should serve as motivation as well as a learning experience. He knows he needs to play better and that he’s not just going to be handed the job at the beginning of the year. Vick, at this stage in his career, is a similar quarterback as Geno Smith: able to use his feet but not as dynamic as Colin Kaepernick or RGIII but still able to be a pocket passer as well.
Look for Vick to end up starting the 2014 season before passing the torch onto a much wiser and confident Smith for 2015 unless the team decides that Smith cannot handle the competition and therefore is not the franchise quarterback he was expected to be. Geno is tougher than that, in my opinion, and I think he will use this situation to his advantage.
Now if they could only sign a cornerback…
Dan Lagnado is studying communications, law economics and government at American University. He’s a fan of both the Mets and Jets and has been writing about sports for four years. You can follow him on twitter at @dlag1995